Bryn Spejcher, 32, avoided prison time after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 stabbing death of her boyfriend Chad O'Melia, 26
• An expert at Bryn Spejcher trial testified she was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis at the time of the 2018 attack
• Spejcher stabbed her boyfriend more than 100 times and also stabbed herself
• The judge defending his decision to spare Spejcher prison time: “From that point forward, she had no control over her actions," he said
A California woman who was facing up to four years in prison for fatally stabbing her boyfriend more than 100 times during a drug-induced psychotic episode in 2018 was instead sentenced this week to two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
Last December, Bryn Spejcher, 32, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of her boyfriend Chad O'Melia, 26, the Ventura County Star, the Los Angeles Times and KTLA reported from the courtroom. She had been facing a possible four year prison term ahead of her Tuesday sentencing hearing.
On May 27, 2018, prosecutors said Spejcher fatally stabbed O’Melia, an accountant, inside his Thousand Oaks, Calif., apartment approximately 108 times after the couple had smoked marijuana together, the Ventura County Star reported. She also repeatedly stabbed herself.
According to the Ventura County Star, police officers who responded to the scene said they found Spejcher in a pool of blood holding a knife. They reportedly had to use a Taser device and a baton to disarm her and take her into custody.
During the trial, a medical expert testified that Spejcher’s behavior was the result of cannabis-induced psychosis, the L.A. Times reported. According to the National Library of Medicine, a diagnosis of the disorder is given when hallucinations or delusions materialize shortly after consuming cannabis.
Spejcher's defense attorneys claimed that their client was "involuntarily intoxicated," and that O'Melia had allegedly bullied and intimidated her into smoking the last bit of marijuana, according to the Ventura County Star.
O’Melia’s family faced Spejcher in court at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, where she expressed remorse for her behavior.
“My actions have ripped your family apart,” she said, per the Ventura County Star. “I am broken and aching inside. I hurt that you never see Chad again.”
Shane O’Melia, the victim’s brother, grieved his loved one at the hearing and shared the difficulties of knowing Spejcher had been out on bail since her arrest in 2018.
“It’s been five and a half years where she has got to live with her family and we get to live with a box of ashes,” Shane said, according to KTLA.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley defended his decision to sentence Spejcher to no prison time.
“From that point forward, she had no control over her actions,” he said, referring to the moments after she had smoked the portion of marijuana, per the Ventura County Star.
Spejcher's attorney Michael Goldstein agreed, calling the sentence a fair and accurate reflection of conduct that he claims was out of his client’s control, according to the L.A. Times.
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